Coulée Verte René-Dumont 18 © French Moments

Last Updated: 30 January 2022

The Twelfth arrondissement of Paris is famous for the monumental Opéra Bastille, Gare de Lyon and the neighbourhood of Bercy. It also includes the vast Bois de Vincennes, making it Paris’ second largest arrondissement.

A few words about the 12th arrondissement

12th arrondissement of Paris © ThePromenader - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons
12th arrondissement of Paris © ThePromenader – licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The Twelfth arrondissement of Paris (le douzième arrondissement) is situated on the right bank of River Seine between the banks of River Seine and the 11th and 20th arrondissements. The district covers an area of 6.37 km2 with a population of 144,402 (2011 census). The entire Bois de Vincennes has been part of the 12th arrondissement since 1929 and makes the total area of the district of 16.32 km2, that is Paris’ second largest arrondissement after the 16th (which includes the Bois de Boulogne). The 12th arrondissement makes for 15% of the total surface of Paris.

12th arrondissement of Paris © French Moments
12th arrondissement of Paris © French Moments

The 12th arrondissement includes the neighbourhoods of Place de la Bastille (with the Opera) and of Bercy. The Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry has been in a modern building in Bercy since 1989.

The neighbourhood of Bercy also includes the public Parc de Bercy and a concert hall (Palais Omnisport de Paris-Bercy).

The 12th arrondissement is also home to one of the 6 major railway stations of Paris: Gare de Lyon with trains travelling to France’s southeast, Switzerland and Italy. Gare de Lyon is famous for its gastronomic restaurant ‘Train Bleu’ and its ornate belfry.

Main places of interest in the 12th arrondissement

Place de la Bastille © French Moments
Place de la Bastille © French Moments

The 12th arrondissement is home to many places of interest mostly found in the neighbourhood of Bercy:

  • the Place de la Bastille
  • the Opéra de la Bastille
  • the Promenade Plantée
  • the Park of Bercy
  • the Cour Saint-Émilion
  • the Bassin de l’Arsenal
  • the Bois de Vincennes
  • the Gare de Lyon (Belfry and Train Bleu restaurant)
  • the Fountain of Château d’Eau, Place Daumesnil (Félix Eboué)
  • the curious cobbled street of Rue Crémieux
rue Crémieux Paris
Rue Crémieux, Paris © French Moments
Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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